The final ceremony of placing the Cleopatra Needle into position on the Waterloo steps of the Thames embankment took place yesterday afternoon and was most successfully accomplished.


The Needle was resting horizontally on the great wooden structure which had been erected around it and was at the given time slowly lowered until it rested perpendicularly on the pedestal. The operation commenced at three O’clock and was concluded exactly at the half-hour. The descent was so gradual that no movement was noticed from the boat moored about ten yards from the steps, and on which a large number of spectators, invited, by the engineers, had assembled.


The ponderous monolith having been lowered into position; the Union Jack was run up. Immense crowds had gathered along the embankment on either side of the steps, and large numbers of people watched the ceremony from the Charing Cross Bridge and the roof of Somerset House. Some speeches were delivered on board the steamer, and a resolution was unanimously passed in the name of the nation thanking Mr. Erasmus Wilson and Mr. John Dixon for their enterprise, generosity, and skill, which had led to the successful termination of the labour of conveying to England and erecting the Egyptian obelisk.


The total cost of the work was £15,000, £10,000 of which was given by Professor Wilson, the remainder by Mr. Dixon.




BNA  © Sheffield Independent – Friday 13 September 1878